Hester [15md]



Penelope Wilton stars in Margaret Oliphant's witty tale of a woman who runs her own bank.

By Margaret Oliphant

Dramatised by Kate Clanchy and Zena Forster

Penelope Wilton and Lyndsey Marshal star in this high Victorian tale of a woman who runs her own bank.

Sometimes called 'the feminist Trollope', Margaret Oliphant is an unjustly-neglected British writer of the nineteenth century, famed for her perceptive, ironic psychology, and her strong female characters. And Hester has a striking premise: a young woman in a nineteenth-century Cheshire town, having been snubbed and discarded in marriage, does something truly radical. When the family bank is in danger of a run, she pledges her whole private fortune to save it. But instead of merely underwriting it, in return she insists on running the bank herself, as a single woman, in defiance of all convention.

Using Oliphant's deliciously witty and sardonic narration, allied to a radical dramatisation by Kate Clanchy and Zena Forster, 'Hester' reveals a flawed and fascinating heroine, reborn for radio.


This is a tale of banks and bankers. A tale of credit and discredit. This is a tale of a single woman in nineteenth-century Cheshire town, who does something truly radical.

Harp played by Ruth Faber

Producer/Director - Jonquil Panting